Hi, all - it was interesting and entertaining to read all your firsts - so many people have been able to travel with their folks when they were kids. Sounds wonderful.
My first trip out of the U.S. was in 1971 - my (then) husband was building recording studio equipment for the Beach Boys and they needed him to install it in a small building in the Dutch countryside. It was a typical (for the day) rock and roll extravaganza. They took so many people to Holland and rented us all places to stay. Our temporary home was a beautiful flat in Heemstead - wonderful town, with many flower shops, bookstores and chocolate shops. Heavenly. While the fellows were busy with the recording project, the ladies of the party could travel around Europe. A friend and I went to Paris, Heidelberg and Zermatt. I was around 22 and a quasi-hippie so there was a good deal of partying. Holland was terrific; still very clean and orderly, no junkies in the park, etc.
Wonderful memories, thanks for setting them in motion with your topic!
My first out of country trip was to Montreal with my high school choir at age 16, I loved the opportunity to practice my rudimentary French. My first overseas trip did not occur until after I joined the Navy and my ship stopped in St.Maarten. A few of my girlfriends and I stayed in a lovely hotel on a secluded cove on the Dutch side. I also wish I could unsee the sight of the 70 yo man running along Orient Beach wearing nothing but running shoes and a headband.....
Like Omegaet, the first time I left the U.S. was on a family trip to Niagara Falls. I don't remember how old I was, but I think that I was around fourteen. After graduating from high school at sixteen, I took a year off and worked full time before attending college. With the money I earned, I took a two month trip backpacking around Europe with a friend. We took the ultimate budget trip, staying in youth hostels for most of our trip. Using our Eurail passes, we would walk to the train station and find a train that was traveling overnight so we wouldn't have to pay for lodging. We didn't care where it was going as long as it was a long ride. My friend and I subsisted on bread, cheese and tomato sandwiches washed down with Coke, beer or cheap wine. Whenever we wanted to buy an item, we would check the prices all over town before purchasing it so we could save a few liras, francs or shillings. Our travels took us from Belgium to Denmark, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
It was a great trip and a great way for a seventeen year old to see the world. I'm in contact with a lot of young people and I always encourage them to travel when they're young because there are a lot of inconveniences that you willingly put up with that you won't put up with when you get older.